Jan 28, 2008
ONE SURE THING: NO CONSENSUS REGARDING TASTE IN TELENOVELAS
(I apologize to my English-only readers because all the links in this post go to texts in Spanish).
Like most things in life, telenovelas generate a variety of opinions. What some think is great, others believe is awful. More so in a tv genre that represents a true paradox: It's watched all over the world, and is still despised by many. Complicating things even more is the fact that telenovelas come in different writing and acting styles/qualities. Their production values are also diverse and highly dependent on networks' budgets and countries' political and economic conditions.
Another factor that influences the different likes and dislikes regarding telenovelas is that not every country is exposed to the same telenovelas. The offer they receive depends on the distributors' assumptions about what the public wants to watch. And those assumptions are often laden with underestimation of the audience.
I must also mention that there is no consensus regarding the definition of "success": High ratings in the country of origin? Number of countries that bought the telenovela? Number of countries where it had high ratings? Number of countries where it's still remembered? Influence in the social formation? Influence in the telenovela genre?
We can find an excellent example of this diversity in the post (and comments it generated) in television blog Espoiler, associated to Spain's daily El Pais and written by Hernán Casciari.
And, of course, the Internet is the locus of incredible contrasts. See how interesting is the range of opinions and comments we can find about Venezuelan telenovela Arroz Con Leche:
Plus the contrasts between negative opinions about this telenovela and the comments of those audience members who depend on youtube to be able to watch it.
The only sure thing about telenovelas is that there is no consensus about them.